The elevation of counter-terrorism to the status of a ‘major policy objective’ of the EU was a seminal event in the development of European institutions of governance. September 11th launched the EU and its Member States into a significant programme of criminal police and judicial policy development, operational action and institution building. The speed and cross-pillar breadth of the EU’s response following the attacks was remarkable, especially given the discontinuous pattern of crises and institutional inertia that had previously characterised EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) co-operation. However, despite the rhetorical reference to September 11th, many of these measures were already on the table, having been set out at a European Council summit in Tampere in 1999. This raises questions about whether or not the EU’s response to September 11th is yet another indicator of an already established pattern of discontinuous development, or a genuinely enhanced governmental capacity to act against transnational crime affecting the EU. Such questions are crucial at the present juncture, as the EU expands to include 25 Member States.